drought

Sydney gets toughest water restrictions in a decade

On Tuesday, level two restrictions were enacted in the capital of New South Wales (NSW), a state 99.9% in drought.

These could be increased to level three within months, local media report.

Temperatures are predicted to soar above 40C (104F) from Tuesday, worsening fires which have already killed six people since October.

There are now more than 100 fires in NSW and Queensland states, many of which have been burning for several weeks.

What are the water restrictions?

Rising heat could make parts of South Asia uninhabitable by 2100 -study

Most of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will experience temperatures close to the limits of survivability by 2100, without emissions reductions.

The research says the fraction of the population exposed to dangerous, humid heat waves may reach 30 percent.

South Asia is home to one-fifth of the world's inhabitants.

Wet bulb threat

Most official weather stations around the world measure temperature with two thermometers.

Australia gives more funding to fight Pacific drought

It gave US$6.5 million dollars last year and has just announced another US$359,000 dollars in additional support for the North Pacific.

The foreign minister Julie Bishop said the money will focus initially on the Marshall Islands where a state of emergency is in force.

More water for drought stricken Fiji's Western division

The provision of tanks was made possible with support from the €19.36 million (US$21.12 million) European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

These tanks will be installed in temporary roadside locations filled by the National Disaster Management Office throughout the Christmas season to ensure the most severely affected areas can access clean and safe drinking water, which is critical to human health.

Drought threat for much of the Pacific remains

The Island Climate Update, compiled by New Zealand's NIWA with other meteorological agencies and the Pacific Regional Environment Programmme, says each of those countries has experienced significantly lower than expected rain levels in the past five to six months.

Australia announces Pacific drought relief package

Australia's foreign minister has announced financial assistance to Pacific countries struggling with drought brought on by this year's severe El Niño.

Julie Bishop yesterday toured areas of Papua New Guinea's Highlands with foreign minister Rimbink Pato.

The PNG government estimates a million people in the Highlands are in a state of distress as a result of months of severe drought and frosts, which has killed crops and dried up water supplies.

Experts predict continuing dry for much of the Pacific

This comes after up to six months of well below normal rainfall had been received.

The forecast from New Zealand's NIWA and the Pacific Islands Meteorological Services says in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, after three months of very dry conditions, below normal rainfall can be expected through to the end of the year.

And it says New Caledonia can expect the below drier condition of recent months to continue through October to December.

It says countries in the central Pacific, such as Tuvalu and Kiribati, can expect little water stress in the next few months.

Chimbu Governor says much more drought aid needed

Much of the Highlands region has been affected by drought and frost which have destroyed food gardens.

The PNG Government started rolling out food aid several weeks ago but the Chimbu Governor Noah Kool says it is not enough.

He says Port Moresby has to under a proper assessment of the number of people affected and the help they will need for a drought expected to extend into 2016.

UN urges Pacific governments to prepare for El Nino impact

The UN resident coordinator in Fiji, Osnat Lubrani, says it is expected to rival the 1997 El Nino which is the most severe on record.

Ms Lubrani says drought problems currently being experienced around parts of the region are just the beginning.

She says governments need to start raising awareness in communities and preparing national emergency plans.

UN issues stark warning on Pacific drought threat

The UN's Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani, says communities and governments need to prepare now for the extreme weather changes El Niño usually triggers.

He says some countries are already implementing or drafting drought plans and the UN is ready to help co-ordinate this and to provide technical advice.

Over the coming months, countries on the equator can expect more rain, flooding and higher sea levels, presenting challenges for low-lying atolls already feeling the impacts of climate change.